News: Scientists create ‘three person embryos’
The eggs were created by taking chromosomes containing 99.8 per cent of the DNA from one egg and inserting these into a second egg which has had its own chromosomes removed. The technique was developed to help ‘repair’ eggs which carrying mutations in their microscopic cellular structures called mitochondria. These mutations can cause such serious illnesses as muscular dystrophy. In the Oregon experiment, the second egg provides healthy mitochondria.
Approximately half of the eggs developed into healthy embryos. Carried to full term, any resulting children would have carried a small piece of DNA from a third person, in addition to their parents.
In September the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Business asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to launch a public consultation on the technique. This runs until December 7. The technique could be made legal in the UK if the consultation receives a favourable response.
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